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Lt. JG Sheila Bailey - Brain v Heart


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Aly - I know I'm writing this scene with you, but I want you to know that you are doing a wonderful job of realistically portraying Sheila and her struggles.  Your narrative here is growing ever stronger, and more compelling and I am so engaged in her struggles.  You have done a fantastic job!  <3

 

OOC - This sim has mention of abuse, not graphic. All thoughts and opinions are of that of my character.

((CO’s Office – The Hub – StarBase 118))

Bailey: It should.

Sheila knew that she was sliding backwards. When she left home for the academy she didn’t have a reminder of her Uncle. Maybe that was because she was getting used to a whole new level of gravity. Her Uncle didn’t even come up when she was first posted to Federation starship. She guessed that her mind had just been strong for too long and it was finally time to face what he had done to her. Overall she was in a constant internal battle where she had a desire to be strong. That was now coming up against that small voice in her head that threw back everything her Uncle said to her; put it right back into her face. 

Taybrim: ::Gently:: And why would you say that?

Bailey: I’ve struggled, in my younger years, to not believe all the abusive things my Uncle told me. Not hurt myself in similar ways.

Sal nodded, showing that he was listening. Sheila appreciated that. 

Taybrim: That is one of the most difficult things you will grapple with. But you can overcome it.

Could she overcome what he had done to her? In a way it would always be with her but she could get to a point that it would no longer bother her, that the thoughts would no longer come up and that she would no longer feel she would have to tell her commanding officers what had happened. Those thoughts didn’t come as a surprise to her. She knew the medical science behind what she was going through as she studied it in her training. Sal however made it all that much more real. He spoke reassuringly. He didn’t sugar coat anything. 

Bailey: I feel that if someone tells you, you are a failure so many times one can not only start believing that but acting like that as well.

Taybrim: It is, most unfortunately, a natural part of a being’s ability to learn that means that if you are taught something with enough repetition – including a destructive lie, that the brain will pick up that pattern and absorb it. You are not weak for that, you are simply sentient and capable of learning – a trait that your abuser took advantage of.

Sheila was now feeling very uncomfortable. She had told other people but never in this much detail. It physically hurt. Not like the panic she felt during the mission but much more like someone was squeezing her. She pulled off her sweater leaving it on the floor by her chair. She also realized that yes her Uncle had taken advantage of her. He took advantage of her in so many different ways.

He had told her that no one other than him would want her. That she couldn’t outshine others; that would draw too much attention to her. Lead to mistakes. And everytime she did something he didn’t approve of he showed her physically that she had messed up. Usually what he did was pull at her hair and throw her around. It would give her a loss of control. 

These uncomfortable thoughts had her telling her friend, who was sitting across from her, about the worst thing he had done to her. 

Bailey: I have a permanent reminder of what he did.

Under her sweater she was wearing a simple white tank top which made it easier for her to show Sal the small white but still visible scar that she has on her upper spine. She turned around in her chair to do so. 

The scar didn’t hurt anymore but it left a slight phantom pain anytime she brushed her fingers along it. She was only glad that it was in a hard to reach location as well as in a place that she couldn’t see when she looked in the mirror. 

Bailey: You see that there? That small white scar? He did that to me and it won’t go away. ::her voice sounded desperate::

Taybrim: I am so very sorry, Sheila. ::His voice was tender, soft.:: No one deserves to have that sort of pain and abuse done to them. No one deserves to have that reminder carried with them.  No one as bright or as compassionate as you ever deserves to have their world twisted by an abuser. I am so very sorry.

Sal wasn’t faking his honest sympathy. 

Bailey: I know I don’t deserve what he did to me. ::she turned to get more comfortable in her seat:: I just...feel like I’m stuck in this endless loop of failure. It feels hopeless right now. 

Taybrim: No ::He shook his head gently, watching her move back into a more comfortable position.:: I don’t think it is hopeless or that you will fail in your career. I think you are farther along the path to recovery than you think you are, but I also know that yes, the road ahead is difficult.

Bailey: It’s going to be hard. I know that for a hard cold fact. I studied about the subject in medical school. It’s however not the same thing as fighting the criminals of Starfleet. We go after then as we have strong evidence as to them committing criminal acts. My Uncle, he not only hurt me but after he would tell me how good I was or how much I wanted it. Words like that. 

Working in Starfleet was easy as they had clear reasons to go after the people they did. Bailey herself knew that the “death fog” was deadly based on its chemical makeup, so in her mind it was a clear black line of bad. With her Uncle however he seemed to go back and forth between black and white so quickly and easily that she wasn’t sure if it really was his intention to hurt her. What she later learned was that yes he did have a reason to hurt her and her sisters. Of course he hurt them less then her but that never made that any easier. 

Taybrim: I believe in you. I know you can do this. Again, you’ve already taken the first step – you recognize what your Uncle did and you called it out – abuse. You can see it, and you can talk to people about it – that’s not easy and it shows you are strong and brave.

Sal’s tone was firm, reassuring.

Bailey: I’ve told those I felt had a right to know. I still find it hard to tell myself that I was told lies my whole life. Even when I do it doesn’t make it better. 

Taybrim: You learned these abusive things through repetition, continually being taught them.  You can unlearn them through repetition and continually being taught something else. And, you’re right – simply telling yourself that it’s a lie won’t help. You can know that it’s a lie and still feel those emotional welling within you because you’ve been taught that guilt and shame by a horrible person. You have to unlearn those basic responses.

The Elaysian woman hardly knew what to say at that. In all honesty she felt a bit choked up. Her body was cold but if she put her sweater back on she felt like she would overheat. With that she left her sweater on the floor. 

It was a silence that seemed to stretch on forever. Sheila could feel the anticipation of what Sal was going to say. Throughout their conversation it was the first time she hadn’t spoken which got her mind thinking in a million different directions. 

Taybrim: This may be the hardest part for you. You are a medical officer, a compassionate soul who is dedicated to caring for others. But you need to re-establish your own sense of self beyond what your Uncle taught you. That means setting up a sense of self-preservation where you reinforce the self you believe in when your Uncle’s voice haunts you. ::He leaned forward a bit to explain.:: The reason this will feel so difficult for you is because you will need to be a little selfish. You may not be able to endure other’s emotional trauma while you are protecting yourself and re-establishing a new sense of self outside of your Uncle’s abuse. 

Sheila Bailey didn’t completely freak out at Sal’s words. From the tension she felt she thought he was going to tell her that she was going to have to step away from Starfleet for a time. If she left she was going to break down fully no doubt about it. But was that what Sal was meaning? She wasn't sure. Sheila figured that he didn’t but thinking about it she in fact didn’t know. Her brain was torn between what she knew and what she felt. In the end her feelings won out. 

Her feelings won out to the point that she started tearing up. 

Bailey: You're not asking me to quit my job are you?

Taybrim: Response 

Bailey: I...I don’t understand. 

Taybrim: Response 

Bailey: Okay..Okay..::Sheila was taking deep breaths as she spoke. Her breath was shaky however, making her feel slightly more uncomfortable:: Let me backup. My Uncle abused me. That is a fact. 

Sheila was trying to recap some of what they had talked about in order to try and understand what Sal, her friend, was asking her. Make sure those feelings that had her thinking she was going to have to quit could lose. If she broke it down then they would lose and she would be left knowing what she knew all along. That Sal was only asking her to limit herself and know her boundaries. And throughout their conversation he was guiding her through finding herself in a way that didn’t connect to her abuser. 

Taybrim: Response 

Bailey: I know it could affect my work, not that I’m going to let it. I am a compassionate person and work strongly in helping others. You’ve just got my brain fighting against my heart. I know your not asking or even telling me to quit right?

Taybrim: Response 

As she listened to the man in front of her talk she went about wiping her eyes, her breathing slowing. She had just been confronted with her biggest fear but she knew the right outcome even through the confusion. Sheila was glad that she had taken a step back and asked for clarification. 

Bailey: Thank you. I’m just so scared. How do I move forward when I work in medicine?

Taybrim: Response  

TBC/TAG

Lieutenant JG Sheila Bailey

Medical Officer

Starbase 118 Ops

M239512BG0

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